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Local Development Plan 2022

We are currently at stage 3 of the local development plan process and as such we have submitted the Proposed Local Development Plan (LDP) 2020 along with the Schedule 4s for examination. Examination of the Plan commenced on 28th June 2021. Scottish Ministers have appointed five Reporters from the DPEA to examine the Plan.

Once in every 5 years we are required to publish a new plan for the area, excluding the Cairngorms National Park. This is to inform and advise developers and communities on the principles that built development should follow and where it should be located.

Having been through an extensive period of consultation, including the publication of a Main Issues Report and a Proposed Local Development Plan, the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2022 is entering the final phases of development. The Proposed Local Development Plan 2020 has been submitted for Examination undertaken by the Scottish Government’s Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA). We expect that after the conclusion of this process, the LDP 2022 can be adopted in the first half of 2022.

The Proposed Local Development Plan has been written to accord with the National Planning Framework, and be consistent with the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Plan.

Every year, we publish a Development Plan Scheme which sets out the programme for the delivery of the Local Development Plan.

Legislation is changing as part of the planning reforms and the Scottish Government is moving forward with the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019. As the new LDP will be delivered in 2022 it will be prepared using the existing legislation. Transitional arrangements have been announced by the Scottish Government to manage the changeover from current to new-style LDPs. The next Local Development Plan will be prepared on a timetable that will see its adoption in or before 2027.

Preparation of the plan

There are 4 stages of the local development planning process. Each stage has substantial information produced to justify the council's position. Watch the Local Development Plan short film to find out how our local development plan has been produced:

Stage 1 - Preparation

The Main Issues Report and Draft Proposed Local Development Plan were published on 14th January 2019 and were subject to public consultation until 8th April 2019. Nearly 1200 representations were received. This information is now historical but you can view the Main Issues Report on the archive page

Issues and Actions papers were then produced which contain council officers’ responses to the issues raised during the public consultation.

Between August and September 2019 our area committees met to debate the issues raised. They agreed the actions necessary to take forward for the next stage in the process. Infrastructure Services Committee then considered any outstanding issues or inconsistencies between area views and have made recommendations on the content of the Proposed Local Development Plan to the council.

Stage 2 - Consultation 

The Proposed Local Development Plan was presented to Full Council on 5th March 2020 where local members agreed that the content of the proposed plan 2020 provides the settled view of the council on the plan they wish to see adopted in 2022. Formal consultation on the Proposed Local Development Plan (LDP) 2020 and the Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report took place between 25th May and 31st July 2020.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions the Proposed Local Development Plan is not available to view in public libraries or at council Planning offices.

Stage 3 - Examination, current stage

Officers have completed the summaries (known as Schedule 4s) of the representations made on the Proposed Local Development Plan. Nearly 1,400 representations were received. The representations received on the Proposed Plan can be viewed on the Proposed LDP 2020 – Examination page.

On 12th March 2021, the Proposed Local Development Plan along with the 58 summaries of issues raised (Schedule 4s) were submitted to the Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) for examination.

On 24th May 2021, Scottish Ministers appointed two Reporters from the DPEA to examine the plan. Consideration has been made by them of the Conformity with the Participation Statement (pdf 5.9MB) and the examination of the proposed plan commenced on 28th June 2021. Additional Reporters have been appointed to aid in the delivery of the Examination Report. The examination includes consideration of any unresolved matters raised by representees. The progress of the examination can be followed on the DPEA website, which provides copies of all 58 of the Schedule 4 documents and any further information requests they make.

The proposed LDP 2020 is a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. The planning authority must assess what weight it should have in determining planning applications. As the proposed LDP is still to be subject to examination by an independent reporter, it is considered that the level of weight that should be applied to the proposed LDP 2020 is not significant. The Aberdeenshire LDP 2017 remains the up to date LDP for the area and the primary document against which planning applications should be determined until such time as a new LDP for the area is adopted.

Stage 4 - Adoption

After the examination and the reporter's conclusion on any objections received, the council needs to consider the DPEA recommendations. The reporter’s conclusions are normally binding, except in limited circumstances. The finalised Local Development Plan that we wish to adopt is then proposed to Scottish Ministers. This is likely to be in late 2021 or early 2022.

There are a number of resources available for communities to assist community councils and members of the public to understand the Proposed Local Development Plan.

Updates on progress

You can stay up to date by viewing our regular newsletters on the Local Development Plan progress. You can also subscribe to LDP email updates by sending us an email. View LDP email subscription privacy notice (pdf 83.2KB).